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Israel may have just torched its relationship with Russia, promising to provide Ukraine with ‘early warning systems’

  • Israel has said it is “working to provide Ukraine with early warning systems.”

  • It signals a major turnaround in Israeli foreign policy.

  • The announcement comes as Russia hosts an intra-Palestinian delegation in Moscow this weekend.

Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, said in a speech on Wednesday that the Middle Eastern country was “working to provide Ukraine with early warning systems.”

Such systems would help “save civilian lives from Russia’s indiscriminate missile and drone attacks,” Erdan said.

A spokesperson for Israel’s Foreign Ministry told Business Insider that the system was “not Iron Dome,” Israel’s most advanced air defense system.

Rather, it would be an “alert system” that would help “get people into shelters.” It would likely be very similar to Israel’s Tzeva Adom radar system, the spokesperson told BI.

Israeli ‘code red’

Tzeva Adom, which means ‘Code Red’ in Hebrew, is an early warning radar system.

Originally installed by the Israeli army in the cities surrounding the Gaza Strip in the late 1990s, the system now covers all of Israel.

Detecting a signature of a missile launch automatically activates the public warning system in nearby Israeli communities and military bases.

A pre-recorded female voice announces “Tzeva Adom” four times.

This broadcast cycle continues until no further launches are detected.

Since 2014, the alerts are also available via an app on iOS and Android devices.

Israel is one of the world leaders in early warning detection systems.

Using the system in Ukraine will likely mean that Israel will have to send specialized soldiers to help the Ukrainians integrate the system. The Israeli spokesman could not confirm when this would take place, but said the system, and others like it, should give Ukrainians more time to move to secure facilities, such as civilian bunkers, which have already become commonplace in Ukraine.

A blow to relations between Israel and Russia

For the past two years, Israel has walked a diplomatic tightrope in the war between Russia and Ukraine.

During the first invasion, Israel offered “more than 100 tons of humanitarian equipment,” as Erdan said in his UN speech.

A field hospital within the Ukrainian border “treated more than 7,000 injured people,” and “hundreds of Ukrainian patients received the best possible care” in hospitals and rehabilitation centers throughout Israel.

But Israel has consistently stopped short of sending military aid or joining Western sanctions, partly because it did not want to provoke Russia.


Palestinian Hamas militants are seen during a military show in Bani Suheila district on July 20, 2017 in Gaza City, Gaza.Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Russia has long been a backer of Iran, Hezbollah and President Bashir al-Assad in Syria. Meanwhile, Tehran has also supplied Russia with Iranian-made Shahed drones that have been used to bomb cities in Ukraine.

While Israel’s move is unlikely to dramatically turn the tide of war for Ukraine, it nonetheless signals a major turnaround in Israeli foreign policy.

Erdan called Ukraine Israel’s “allies” and “friends in need.”

Both countries are “fighting a battle for our survival,” he said, adding that “the State of Israel has always been and will continue to be committed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

The Israeli announcement did not “come out of the blue,” Amir Weitmann, head of the libertarian caucus in Israel’s ruling Likud party, told BI.

The announcement came as Russia hosted an intra-Palestinian meeting in Moscow this weekend. Representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad will be welcomed to the Russian capital to help the various Palestinian forces agree on political unity, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told state news agency TASS.

There is no doubt that “Russia is deeply involved in what is happening in Israel,” Weitmann said, referring to the ongoing war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, which has killed tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians. However, it is not clear “at what level,” he said.

Currently, Israel has “no capacity” to supply weapons systems to other countries, especially if it were to go to war with Hezbollah, which has a stockpile of up to 150,000 missiles and rockets.

Nevertheless, this was “just the beginning” of Israel’s involvement in Ukraine, the politician said.

“Israel will take a more aggressive stance against Russia from now on,” he opined, adding that if the war in Ukraine is not over by the time Israel resolves its local problem. “Israeli weapons would find their way to Ukraine.”

An interview with Weitmann on the state-backed Russian TV network Russia Today went viral late last year when he proclaimed that “Russia will pay the price” for “supporting Israel’s enemies.”

“We will make sure that Ukraine wins,” he said on RT.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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